Alison Filgate, Kim Gawne, Simon Hogan and Claire Stucas from headspace. Photo courtesy of Alison Filgate

Match to give the boot to stigma about depression

THE beyondblue-headspace Anzac Day football game between Ulverstone and Penguin seeks to destigmatise depression and anxiety.

The one-off game for Mental Health Awareness is the first day of its kind in Australia and seeks to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention within the age group of 14-24 years.

Headspace ambassador and former AFL footballer Simon Hogan, and beyondblue ambassador and board member of Rural Alive and Well (RAW) Leonie Young will be the dual speakers at a post- match function beginning at 6pm.

Ms Young said her speech would focus on identifying the symptoms of depression and how to look out for signs that their friends or family might be depressed.

“We use functions like this to tell people that help and support is available and what the first steps might be if they are feeling anxious or depressed,”she said.

Ms Young said it was particularly important to educate people that there’s no shame in feeling anxious or depressed.

“There’s no shame factor, depression is an illness that affects lots of people in different ways,” Ms Young said.

Ms Young said it was great to be involved with a sporting event to raise awareness of mental health issues.

“It will be great to hear Simon to tell his story and talk about how the pressures of having to be strong and play well every week and be constantly scrutinised affected him.”

Both beyondblue and headspace will have a presence during the game, and Ms Young will be on hand to offer information and support.

“I’ll be handing out showbags during the match and I’m more than happy to talk to anyone who would like to know more about depression and the services we offer,” she said.

Courtesy of The Adovcate